Moving to British Columbia

Hi everyone

I plan to move BC, Canada in 6 months or so. Putting family, work commute and housing questions on a side, I’m wondering which city offers the best training options. I’m a triathlete so

  • Swim: I need to have a near by pool. Don’t need open water swim.

  • Bike: I like to ride on the roads. It’d be great to have a easy access to some long climbs, away from traffic and of course easy access to it.

  • Run: Well it would be nice to have some pathways or trails near by

Area to live: I’m considering to move lower mainland. I have already removed the Victoria Island and east of Chilliwack from my consideration.

Any suggestions will be helpful.
Thank you in advance

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You’re not going to find any roads “away from traffic” on the lower mainland. Probably not great running paths either. There are good, accessible mountain climbs, though.

You could always do it the Lionel Sanders way and do it all on indoor trainers.


Embrace mountain biking


That’s also becoming troublesome with the boom of eMTB on pedestrian paths as well as trying to mix with human powered MTB (eg. zooming up a downhill run instead of taking the lift…).

But yeah, BC is def MTB heaven.

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Basically, anywhere except the Lower Mainland…

+1 re traffic. If you want to ride away from traffic in the Lower Mainland, start mountain biking. Also, if you need to be near a good pool (Vancouver Aquatic Centre, Kits Pool, UBC etc.) plan on living in one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in what is already the most expensive city in Canada.
Probably the best areas in BC for a triathlete to live/train are in/near Victoria on Vancouver Island, or anywhere in the Okanagan Valley.

Maybe 20+ years ago. But it’s an island…they aren’t making any more land but the people still keep coming! Roads are pretty dangerous here now. Also, crazy pricey here (av house price is almost $1 million!). But you can run outside here all year round.

Agree with the Okanagan, check it out.

Downtown Vancouver is ideal for rides and running. Out to Stanley park and around the harbour and English bay are some great routes. Not sure about swimming pools other than the beach during the summer.


What about a bit east, like Cultus lake area? Or is that too far out of the way?

I suppose he could just go a little further south and join me in Bellingham. Plenty of quiet roads here!

+1 to the Okanagan, too bad that was already ruled out hahahahaha

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Thank you, everyone.
I had to rule out Okanagan or Victoria Island because of the work.
I understand the traffic presents issues everywhere in BC. Perhaps I need to embrace gravel riding.
Do you have any suggestions for living north of the highway (A1)? Like, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Mission, etc. Do they offer somewhat ok riding options?

I will check out the Cultus area for sure. Thanks for the advise!

Ask @brianv17, I think he lives in that area…?

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My wife and I went a couple of years ago to visit relatives in Trail. Beautiful area. Loved the climb from Trail to Rossland. A lot of mtb there too.

Vancouver is not a great place for road riding. There are few highways, and the roads are very busy. The positive is that the riding season is year round, but any long ride is going to have multiple sections that are quite unpleasant. There are some great mountain climbs tho at cypress and seymour.

Gravel is better, and the mtn biking is world class, specifically with access to squamish and whistler, which are contenders for best mountain biking in the world.

There are limited pools in vancouver proper, but more options in the adjacent cities. There are a few outdoor pools with lane swimming, which would be a cool option.

Feel free to ask any questions, I’m an environmental consultant so I’ve worked all over BC and the lower mainland.

I have ridden around Vancouver for years, there are plenty of routes that get you away from dealing with too much traffic but not many/any that get you completely away from having to deal with any cars.

I have a couple tri buddies that live on the North shore, I know there is a couple pools there and they mostly run on trails.

For biking you can do loops of the park, climb Cypress/Seymour, loop around UBC or head down to Iona and Richmond for some flat riding. There is also a lot of riding out in the valley that takes a bit more effort to get to.

Let me know if you have any questions, I have done tons of riding all over the lower mainland through the years.


You need to understand that Vancouver is not an easy city to get around in. Transportation infrastructure is behind where it should be, so where you base yourself in relation to your work is a key factor to consider.

If you’re living in the lower mainland you will have access to swim/bike/run in almost any municipality, but the time you have to train will be directly correlated to how much time you spend sitting in traffic getting to and from work. There is no point living on the north shore if you are working in delta.

If you can give us some further details on your work situation we can likely help you a little better. If you’re working from home it opens a hell of a lot more options.

Any specific reason you ruled out the island?

Near $1million? Oh the humanity!!!

Houses here in Melbourne are around $1.5m for a three bedroom… :wink: And last I checked we have way more land.

Not a dig at you, just context.

I lived in Vancouver for a year in '05. Amazing place and at that time, still pretty quiet. I get it’s changed a lot since.

My main reason is to live in the lower mainland is my wife’s commute to work. That’s why I have to rule out the island and Okanogan area. But I’m not particularly looking to live in Vancouver as it is expensive for housing. Also, I’m working from home.
I thought if I live on the north side of the highway, I can access some good riding fairly quickly. I’m just trying to eliminate (if I can) driving to riding destination.
I mostly ride indoors but I’d like to get out on the weekends if I can. Perhaps, joining some group rides once the covid is over…

I heard North Van is a great spot but it is pretty expensive too. I will check out the housing to see if I need to sell some bikes to get in a house hahaha.
Thank you for the advise!